Can the Colombian Renaissance Be Sustained?

Globalization has spurned a renaissance in the formerly crime-ridden Colombian city of Medellin. But some worry that the city's improvements may only be temporary.

"This labyrinthine metropolis transformed over the course of a decade from a battlefield of drug lords, paramilitaries and leftist guerrillas into one of the safest, most dynamic cities in Latin America. Visionary inner-city renewal projects and a push to take back the lawless hillside slums by force deserve credit, but many here hail an unsung hero in Medellin's urban miracle -- globalization."

"Exports surged in the 1990s as the United States granted temporary trade preferences to Colombia, allowing many of its products to enter the world's largest market duty-free. They really took off after 2002, when Washington expanded that agreement to include Colombia's all-important textile sector."

"Yet the renaissance of a city best known outside Colombia for years as the base of Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel is entering a period of uncertainty that illustrates just how fragile such gains can be. The city's export industry has begun to slip backward, officials here say. It happens as Colombia and many developing nations are struggling to maintain their edge in the increasingly competitive world of global trade."

Full Story: Sustaining the Medellin Miracle


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